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GLBT rights discrimination violates Civil Rights Act

Many workers in Florida who are part of the GLBT community have become more open about their sexual orientation, and, in some cases, this has encouraged discrimination in the workplace. Although statutes to protect GLBT rights in the workplace are slow to catch up, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex or gender discrimination. Discrimination that is based on national origin, race, religion or sex is prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The fact that many gay, lesbian and transgender workers are no longer hiding their sexual orientation may have led to the increased number of charges related to discrimination that was filed last year. The 1,412 GLBT-related incidents that were reviewed by the EEOC last year was an increase of 28 percent. A 51 percent increase in monetary judgments has also been recorded in favor of GLBT employees in such cases.

Reportedly, discrimination in most of these cases is intentional and brazenly blatant. According to the EEOC, the sex discrimination argument was also used in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that recognized same-sex marriages. Any acts of discrimination against a worker's sexual orientation -- including bathroom issues -- can be raised.

According to the EEOC, many of the GLBT rights cases are resolved with mediation. However, not all cases can be mediated, and those that can only be resolved through litigation may best be navigated by an experienced employment law attorney. Lesbian, gay and transgender employees in Florida need not endure discrimination in their places of work as federal laws are binding in all 50 states.

Source: fortune.com, "LGBT-Related Workplace Discrimination Complaints Went Up By 28% Last Year", Michal Addady, April 13, 2016

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